Meet and greet is the most common of all business interactions. The best tips that work have been summarized below:
1. Introduce yourself: Don’t think too much about how to introduce yourself, just make sure you do the introduction - 'name, department / job title' etc in a clear voice.
2. Group introductions: This is the place for the 15-second elevator speech people give when asked 'Tell me about yourself'. Other things to come prepared with: One interesting fact/story about yourself, your most embarrassing incident, five words that describe you, what your hobbies are (these will be interesting to the others in the group), and at company inductions, they also ask about 'If you weren’t doing this job, what you would do.
3. The handshake: With a smile, and making eye contact (twinkling, interested eyes)
4. To remember names: Listen carefully when it is being said, if you can't remember ask, repeat names when being told, think what's interesting about it (pronunciation, some associated imagery etc.)
5. Small talk: Make the other person feel important- listen and nod when that person is talking, be interested in that person ('where are you from?' etc), find some common ground /shared interests, avoid religion and politics (then tend to get contentious soon enough), don't cross the line, avoid excessive flattery, but sound sincere, talk clearly and slowly
6. Being a good listener: Follow the 'speak only when you have something important or useful to add to the conversation' rule, Active listening tactics: repeat / paraphrase what you just heard (which often gets the speaker to think more about it), try not to interrupt, watch the speaker's body language for cues to the message, Show empathy- showing you can see things from the speaker's point of view. Maintain eye contact.
7. Getting people to listen: Show confidence, bring stories/examples/quotes/humor into your talk, speak clearly (and slowly, depending upon the audience), be louder when speaking to a group, change the tone (sombre during serious stuff, vibrant during easy stuff, creating suspense through questions, etc), Ask people questions and they will be interested
8. To speak to someone you want to: Look for an opportunity (person is alone or approachable), don't be over-eager, be politely persuasive. ‘Do you mind if I ask you...?’
9. Cutting off the small talk: ‘If you’ll excuse me, there’s something urgent I have to attend to, I hope we can speak again later’, smile and leave.
10. Snubs (someone ignores you, or says something to put your down): Grace and calm always. If they ignore, don't let them know you were affected by it. If someone criticizes your point, say ‘I’m sorry you think like that, could you explain more?’ If there is no reply, move on. Everyone is different. This too shall pass.
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